An afternoon with The Boys.


Been a while but life is getting in the way of my blogging. Thankfully things are getting back to normal so more time to write….yayy! I have  a greater respect for you guys who do this everyday sometimes twice a day!

This afternoon I reached home relatively early with Son-son (Mam’zelle was with hubby) and proceeded to faceplant on my bed thinking he would occupy himself until his sister came home. He had other plans and kept bugging me to go out and exercise, a task I have duly entrusted upon him….to bother me until I feel guilty enough. He’s very good at this particular task so after all the complaints and suggestions using reverse psychology we were on our way around the block.

I don’t mind walking in the neighbourhood with him. It’s residential enough and he can keep up with my brisk walking since I still don’t do running well (it’s a work in progress). If it were Mam’zelle I would have to endure the endless ‘I tired’s, ‘my foot hurtin’s and ‘dogs barking at meeee!!!’s so I was thankful in that regard. We ended up in the park with the bolted exercise equipment that are found in open spaces in most parks all over Trinidad and I decided to concentrate my workout there. In the meanwhile some other young boys surfaced with the footballs and well you know what happened next. While I’m trying to navigate a rowing machine I felt the tap on the shoulder. Without looking around I said go ahead since they were within distance anyway. At the end of my sweat I decided to stop thinking about time and what I was going to cook, wondering if hubby reached home but passed the next way, and focused on sitting and looking at him interact and kick ball with random boys of average age.

The following thoughts came to me:

  • Will I ever let him go out the road by himself to meet friends and play football in the park? These boys range between 6-10. How they out here by deyself? Is my son too sheltered?
  • Why that little, fiesty one calling my child ‘small man’ and he smaller than him? I wonder if that’s how familiar boys in a group address newbies?
  • Why that little fiesty one is the only one bawling out YUH ON SHIT BOY! and SHIT MAN! and endless pronouncements of SHIT! for no reason? And why he watching me and blushing when he saying it over and over? (I guess my Raised Teacher Eyebrow was noticed but ignored).
  • I wonder if  it’s so natural to him? I wonder if to actually TELL him to stop saying it. I wonder if doing so would embarrass my son and he gets ostracised and then they wouldn’t want him to play again because his mother jumbieing de scene?
  • I wonder if boys in his school curse regularly like that? I wonder if boys on a whole curse regularly like that? How much of a curse is the word ‘shit’?
  • OK now why they have Son-son in goal doing nothing and they playing on the next half of the basketball court? That’s really unfair.
  • Oh now I understand, they want ‘small man’ to block the long balls. These children never hear bout small touches? Why they kicking so wild?
  • Why is Messi versus Christie? Who is Christie? Orrr Christi….like Ronaldo…why they doh just say Ronaldo? People does say ‘Christi’?
  • I feel like I babysitting all these little boys, why am I the only parent here?
  • Why am I worrying? Them boys musbe accustom going in the park by themselves, they won’t be the first and they won’t be the last. That is a normal thing from urban to rural, from generation to generation but times are so different now eh.

Maybe I’m a tad paranoid, I can’t even stomach seeing little children travelling by themselves on the road.

I soon called my son off the pitch after he was thoroughly drenched with sweat. He was smiling and happy and his new ‘pardners’ waved his goodbye. But I still felt wary leaving them there. I guess there is safety in numbers and the neighbourhood isn’t a ‘bad’ one, but nowhere is immune these days. So many things are happening to children these days in Trinidad. We are witnessing a definite spike in children’s accidents deaths for various reasons ranging from fire to drowning. Many say parents need to be more responsible, others say there is evil stalking the land because of the current climate….whatever the climate is. i’m inclined to believe both.

Truthfully I wish the climate could return to how it was before, but before when exactly? Can anyone pinpoint exactly when ‘Trinidad was nice’ and ‘tings was nice?’ When was the tipping point?

I’m an advocate for simple joys and playing football in the park with a crew you’ve just met definitely falls into that category.  Shouldn’t that be an experience that is pure, carefee and without worry about possible negatives based on the way things are going on now in society? I want that for my gremz, I want that for your gremz too, they deserve it. At the end of the day though I can’t help switching on the TMDIM valve:

Bless up


Dear Ms. Dana…

I didn’t know you but somehow your death has resonated with me. “Ordinary” murders are met with a measure of momentary concern on my part and the news cycle has made me somewhat jaded especially when it comes to anything with the label “gang related”. The manner in which you were “assassinated” struck me as colossal though. I was getting ready for church and in an idle moment, absent-mindedly scanned my timeline. Your face was at the very top of my feed and the greatest feeling of dread lifted the hairs on my arms and my neck. I felt winded so I could never imagine that moment when you realized that all of it would soon end. All of the work you have done, all of the work you were doing would be left to your legacy and to be eulogized in your remembrance. I interceded peace for you when I got to church and I will keep praying for your eternal rest.

You have left me thinking. 

I have listened to you speak on a variety of topics and I have read your articles which were so incredibly insightful and digestible! I’m glad you were that intelligent and fearless and better than that, that you took the time to share your wealth of knowledge and expertise to the generations of lawyers that followed in your footsteps. I sincerely hope that they all turn out to be as brave as you, ethics before fortune, risks included, prosecuting for the sake of our country. But you know they can’t do it alone. The lawyers, the police, the jurists alone can’t bear the burden of getting it under control. I wonder if you ever felt like that? Like on a rough day you think ‘oh hell man! why won’t people just behave dey blasted self so my job could be easier?’ (Sigh, you see why I would make a bad lawyer?)

Ms. Dana this crime situation runs so deep, did you ever feel like you could honestly make a huge dent based on your life’s work? Put away the bad guys and make an example. I heard on the radio that your death erupted cheers and celebration in Golden Grove. You could imagine that? But you know, because of the way in which you died, some people thinking differently now about who the criminals are and what kinda beasts out there walking around in human form. People starting to worry because it was you, so it could have been any one of us “ordinary” folk. Did you think you were weighted by damning secrets about crime that would cripple the whole system or the whole underworld? Did you carry a heavy burden that would need a release valve often in games of chance? I don’t blame you nah, that’s a lot for you to bear you know….and in any case everybody has a vice.

People are alleging that your assassination was political, military, drug-related, kidnapping-related, gambling-related all kinda thing. I’m sorry to say but I don’t think we’ll ever know. I’m not saying that the police who have solved less than 10 out of the 150 murders for the year, will not be able to solve yours eh. But I think they up against a lot, chief of which is an unwilling populace. You think people know the power they have? And better than that, how to exercise it to take back our land? They say they’re waiting on the government like any government could EVER have “an answer for crime” or a “crime plan”. Doesn’t lawlessness engender crime? Aren’t we a lawless people? Looking out for our own, doing what we want, paying for driver’s licenses, forging certificates, taking land not belonging to us, cussing, pushing, rushing, hustling….one crab on top the next…and oh Lord doh talk bout the children….

I could have never been a lawyer, It’s intense and I don’t have the drive, passion and commitment for it like you. But I admire what you’ve done. I think I could only do what I can in my circle of influence which is to stop the lawlessness and to impress upon my students and my young people to exercise the same. I can’t do it big like you and the other eagles who fly on your level. My passion is to arrest the criminal manifestations and machinations from the seedlings. The adults are far gone for me and it’s the only way I am able to do my part. Maybe it can be a reshaping of a new future because I realllll worried about the kind of Trinidad my gremlinz will grow up in if today or tomorrow I close my eyes as well. I hope it is enough yes Ms. Dana, I hope your death was not in vain.